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Wellness Ambassadors a Resource for Student Peers (Q&A)
When it comes to reaching out for some advice or a question about health and wellness, students often turn to their peers as a first outreach, says Kristelle Aisaka, health promotion specialist in the Office of Health Promotion.
The Wellness Ambassador Certificate Program, offered through the Office of Health Promotion, makes those conversations a bit easier.
The program trains undergraduates to be health-aware peers—helping promote healthy decision-making and increase knowledge about campus resources, among their fellow students and for their own sake.
A collaborative effort between the Office of Health Promotion and other campus partners, the six-week program covers a range of topic areas, including alcohol and other drug safety, basic health care, diversity, mental wellness, and relationships and sexual violence.
Two sessions are offered this spring:
- Session 1 on Thursdays from 5:15-7:15 p.m. Jan. 25-March 1 in 105 Hall of Languages
- Session 2 on Mondays from 5:15-7:15 p.m. from March 19-April 23 in 115 Hall of Languages
Participants must attend all six sessions to be certified. For more information or to register, visit healthpromotion.syr.edu.
Aisaka shares more details on wellness ambassadors, the training and who might like to participate.
01What is the role of wellness ambassadors?
Wellness ambassadors are undergraduate students interested in learning more about health and wellness topics and resources, and are equipped to help themselves and help others when it comes to a range of wellness topics.
Many students become involved with the Office of Health Promotion as volunteers, interns and peer educators. Many others simply don’t have the time to commit to some of those higher-level responsibilities, but are highly involved in other capacities across campus and want to be as supportive as possible to their peers in those spaces and become wellness ambassadors.
02What was the need to have wellness ambassadors?
We know that students often turn to their peers first when it comes to questions and concerns across the board, including as it relates to health and wellness topics—and we also know that sometimes those peers aren’t always prepared or don’t always feel comfortable answering some of those questions.
03What do students learn in the certificate program to become a wellness ambassador?
The program is split into six weeks, with each week focusing on a separate topic. The topics we cover are mental health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, alcohol and other drug safety, self-treatment and basic health care, relationships and sexual violence, and bystander intervention.
In each session and throughout the course, students learn relevant content information related to those six topics, and through discussions and activities practice applying some of that knowledge.
04What is the time commitment for wellness ambassadors?
The wellness ambassador certificate program is 12 hours total: two hours per week for six weeks. After completing the program, wellness ambassadors are absolutely invited to continue to be involved in trainings, programs and events that our office provides, but don’t have any required time commitment or responsibilities moving forward.
05Who might be a good candidate for being a wellness ambassador?
Any student who wants to learn more about health and wellness with a diverse group of peers, who wants to learn how to better help themself or a friend, and/or who wants to learn more about some of the campus resources that are involved in the program.
Registration is up now for both sessions, so if a student is even remotely interested, I would suggest checking our website, healthpromotion.syr.edu, for more information.